The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has adopted a resolution acknowledging the value of conservation, tourism, and recreation in “California’s rich desert landscape.”
The resolution adopted October 8th, 2019 is a show of support for the last 25 years of desert conservation, which were catalyzed by the 1994 California Desert Protection Act (CDPA). October 31st marks the 25th anniversary of the Act which established Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks, Mojave National Preserve, and 3.5 million acres of wilderness.
According to the resolution, the Act “catalyzed efforts to protect natural areas and military installations through subsequent legislative and administrative efforts.” It also “safeguards precious groundwater” which supports the “fragile desert ecosystem”, and provides recreational resources, solitude, and “undisturbed vistas and clear night skies.”
The resolution was presented by Supervisor Dawn Rowe during a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Act at the Mojave Desert Land Trust headquarters on October 8th. The event is one of a number of festivities happening across the Desert to celebrate the last 25 years.
This anniversary marks an important moment to appreciate the public lands we enjoy in the California Desert. The California desert landscape is one of the most biologically rich places in the state. The California Desert Protection Act was a landmark accomplishment for the California desert ecosystem and the start of one of the most sweeping conservation endeavors in the lower 48 states.
It led to the creation of three National Parks, four National Monuments, and millions of acres of public lands to be used specifically for recreation, protection of cultural, historical and biological treasures, and streamlined renewable energy development through the 2016 Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan and the John D. Dingell, Jr, Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019.
These protected lands draw millions of visitors from all over the world each year, bolstering local economies and creating jobs.
“We are thrilled to see this strong support from the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors for the California Desert,” said Geary Hund, Executive Director of the Mojave Desert Land Trust. “Today, much of the California Desert is connected and protected through a series of National Parks, National Monuments, wilderness and conservation lands. Without the last 25 years of desert conservation we might not be able to experience these areas as we do today. We value this resolution of support and its affirmation of the importance of our conserved desert lands to our resources and communities.”